I read reviews, test drove 15 different, checked out 10 dealers. Hands down the Ford Escape was the best deal for us. The RAV 4 is way overpriced, seats very uncomfortable. We couldn't imagine what agony a long trip would be. Same with everything else we drove. We've logged 5900 miles in 3.5 months. There's not much we don't like other than the gas mileage & the paint surface is already scratched. Lowering the back seats does require getting used to & the position of the arm rest/console could be moved forward for easier access. Glove box useless. Winter weather will determine if the love affair continues.
Good visibility, lots of cargo room and roof rack.
Better gas mileage and practical floor mats/cargo mats. We have the upgraded cloth upholstery but find the floor carpet cheap. Bought a padded cargo protector from a pet store for $50--works great.